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My Child Is Addicted To Heroin, What Can I Do?

2/23/18

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The opioid epidemic takes more lives every year, and younger Americans are so often the victims. In 2015 alone, as many as 155,000 young adults and 6,000 teenagers suffered from heroin addiction. Some of those teens and young adults are now sober and healthy, but not everyone is so lucky.

It can be frightening to consider that your child may be suffering from heroin addiction. However, it's important to act as quickly as possible if you believe heroin is impacting your child's life.

What does it mean for my child to be addicted to heroin?
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing, and progressive brain disease. Those suffering from addiction compulsively pursue relief through the use of a substance such as alcohol or heroin. Addiction can often lead to detrimental health problems at best and overdose and death at worst. In the depths of addiction, the body believes that it needs the substance to survive, and sudden cessation of use can lead to severe withdrawal, seizures, hallucination, and worse.

Older adults may suffer from opioid addiction due to long-term exposure to opioid medication. However, young adults may develop opiate addiction via exposure to recreational use. Other young people use opioids to get relief from depression and anxiety. Similar to alcoholism, when a young adult associated opiates as a way to relieve stress, they become reliant on the drug physically and mentally.

While there are many addictive substances, heroin is one of the most addictive drugs known to man.

How can I help my child with their addiction?
If your child is addicted to heroin or another form of opiates, you may be able to help them. Ultimately, people with substance abuse disorders have to choose to get clean for themselves, but that doesn't mean you can't help guide them to recovery. You can try to give your child a sense of understanding and stability by using the following strategies.

  1. Strengthen the bond with your child
    It may feel difficult to strengthen your relationship with your child at this time because your child may use deceitful tactics as a means to secure substances. However, you can work toward strengthening your relationship by using assertive communication, nonjudgmental language and questions, and listening to your child.

  2. Encourage self-confidence and positivity
    Addictive behaviors are sometimes developed as a means to cope with anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Be sure that you're not focusing on the mistakes and poor decisions your child makes. This can lower their self-esteem and may worsen your child's substance abuse. Encourage healthy coping strategies and get them engaged in new activities instead.

  3. Set boundaries
    During a moment of calm, set boundaries regarding what you will and won't do for your child. This is because those suffering from drug addictions can test your boundaries during times of high-emotions. Often, this is done to manipulate friends and family into giving them money to secure more drugs. By setting boundaries ahead of time, and sticking to them, you'll be able to keep yourself from enabling your son or daughter in their addiction.

In addition, there are a number of medical treatments to help heroin addicts recover. This can include inpatient therapy, outpatient therapy, peer support groups, and medication-assisted therapy in the form of methadone. Methadone treatments for heroin addiction can help give your child back a sense of self-control. Methadone treatments through a methadone rehab center help relieve withdrawal symptoms while also inhibiting euphoric feelings attached to the substance.

Compared to abstinence-only treatment programs, methadone clinics use both medicine and therapy to help those addicted to heroin receive the treatment they need to recover. If you're looking for heroin rehab facilities in Chicago, then you are taking an important first step. For more information on methadone treatments and how they can benefit your child, contact Sundance Methadone Treatment Center in Chicago today.


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